7.3/10
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4 user 4 critic

The Bed You Sleep In (1993)

Times are hard for Northwestern lumber-mill operators like Ray and his wife Jean. Ray and Jean's lives are thrown into chaos when their daughter writes home from college, saying she has ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Tom Blair ...
Ray
Marshall Gaddis ...
Doug
Ellen McLaughlin ...
Jean
Kate Sannella ...
Beth
Brad Shelton ...
Scott
...
Zealot
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Storyline

Times are hard for Northwestern lumber-mill operators like Ray and his wife Jean. Ray and Jean's lives are thrown into chaos when their daughter writes home from college, saying she has uncovered her repressed memories of sexual abuse, and naming Ray as her abuser. Written by Marty Cassady <mcass@mindspring.com>

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23 June 1998 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

A flawed masterpiece...
27 February 2003 | by (Phoenix, AZ) – See all my reviews

Don't give any credence to the other reviewer's comments. This film obviously overloaded his circuitry and left him with no recourse save the usual filmschool, cliched putdowns. He is correct about the film being puzzling, though. How could a director create such a gorgeous work of art and kill it with such a hamfisted ending? I suppose that in 1993 no one could have anticipated 10 years of prosecutorial misfeasance, brainwashed witnesses, the whole McMartin syndrome. So the Emerson quote, juxtaposed with the image of raped timberlands, must have seemed transparently cathartic and indictive of a paternalistic, failed American hegemony. Now, in 2003, when we know that children often tell lies, especially under the

prompting of "impartial" advocates with their own political agendas to advance, it seems merely unintentionally ironic. No matter. This movie is not about anything so obviously melodramatic as family secrets. It is, in fact, a grand symphonic ode to the American landscape and to the challenged lives of those who live mostly out-of-balance with nature. The long, magnificent static shots of urban and rural mis-en-scene are as perfectly integrated into the narrative as Ozu's earlier still-life compositions, and the human inhabitants of the Oregon town have as much dignity and grace as the Russian explorers in Dersu Uzala. Jost is the only American to have appropriated the meditative techniques of Tarkovsky, Angelopoulos and Bela Tarr and come close to succeeding on their level. So ignore the director's simple-minded, hippy-cum-leftist philosophy and just enjoy this film for its marvelous acting, technical panache and noble attempt to impose a formal filmic structure through long takes and ingenious editing.


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